Costs and Barriers
- "I would have changed the actual information received to encompass the entire journey and possible issues-not just issues that we are facing and would face in the immediate future, but down the road as well."
Auditory-verbal/speech-language therapy services, hearing aid purchases and assistive listening devices such as FM systems were the three items families rated as being areas posing the most significant financial barriers and where financial assistance would be most valuable.
The challenge associated with hearing aid purchases is in line with recent literature, which notes that the Medicaid reimbursement average across the United States is low enough to pose a significant financial hurdle for families. Through the open-ended responses, it was noted that insurance coverage ranged widely. Thirty-four percent of those who commented mentioned hearing technology costs as something they either struggle with or have struggled with in the past.
The costs associated with cochlear implantation and maintenance were also seen as significant barriers by families.
The years when a child is aged 4 to 6, followed by elementary school years were noted as the most financially challenging periods for families. In general, all periods were ranked as being financially challenging with an average rating of 3.72 on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most financially challenging.
Benefits of financial assistance
How Would You Rate Each of These Areas in Terms of Barriers to Your Family?
Finally, families were asked to rate the level to which topics explored in the survey were barriers, revealing a highly polarized response profile, with most responses at the two extremes of the spectrum.
This paints a picture of hope and encouragement, suggesting that many families have access to key services needed to help their children succeed in life.
Many other families, however, have a clear and present need for information, advocacy, emotional support and financial help across the full range of issues explored in the survey.